Sub Scan

Sub ScanThe Game: It’s a cold warrior’s nightmare! Enemy submarines glide silently through the seas below, but the only ordnance available isn’t of the guided variety. From a destroyer on the surface of the ocean, players have to carefully drop depth charges; taking out enemy subs will depend on timing and sheer luck. Failing to take out enemy subs – and wasting depth charges – will result in a deadly sinking feeling… (Sega, 1982)

Memories: Sega‘s early attempts to break into the crowded Atari 2600 marketplace were a curious mixture of ports of the company’s arcade titles (Congo Bongo, Star Trek) and curious originals like Sub Scan, which didn’t originate in coin-op form. That’s not to say that Sub Scan has no arcade DNA, though – it’s an attempt to put a new spin on a classic quarter-grabber dating back to the ’70s.

Sub ScanThe setup of Sub Scan seems familiar enough at first, with its radar screen offering a slightly-wider-than-the-TV-screen view of the ocean: Sub Scan is simply a non-3-D take on the basic blow-up-the-subs game that had been in circulation since the original Sea Wolf. Rather than putting players behind the gun though, Sub Scan makes them hazard a guess about dropping inert ordnance into the water from above. Once it’s launched, each depth charge is in the hands of gravity. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

It’s also a bit unrealistic that the subs never fire back! That 2 quarterswould add a whole new layer of tension to a game that’s largely a waiting game. But the subs remain passive targets that just happen to be on the move, making Sub Scan equal parts Sea Wolf and Carnival… and just not much of a challenge.

About Earl Green

I'm the webmaster and creator of theLogBook.com and its video game museum "sub-site", Phosphor Dot Fossils.
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed

  • IP Disclaimer

    All game names, terminology, logos, screen shots, box art, and all related characters and placenames are the property of the games' respective intellectual property holders. The articles herein are not intended to infringe upon their copyright in any way. The author(s) make no attempt - in using the names described herein - to supercede the copyrights of the copyright holders, nor are these articles officially sanctioned, licensed, or endorsed by the games' creators or publishers.